Nasty narcissistic mother

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lirv
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Nasty narcissistic mother

Post by lirv » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:38 pm

I have escaped my mother (who is now elderly) and have had a new life in Australia for the past 8 years, plus the bonus of a son and grandchildren here.
We are due to go back to the UK for a visit soon, especially to see my dad who has been very ill and is recovering. My sister, brother and I think the world of dad but mum is so selfish and plain nasty. She has relied on dad for everything and could do a lot more for herself if she wanted to. My brother spent a week with her, ferrying her to and from the hospital, cooking for her etc. which was emotionally draining for him too, seeing dad so ill. My sister's husband is also very ill with atrophy of the brain so she is unable to support mum. When I phoned and mentioned that my sister could do with a kind word as she is struggling and on her own, all mum could say was that it was her choice and she can't deal with it, plus my sister upset her by telling her that she is struggling and a bit of a wreck at the moment! She also said some very nasty things and shouted me down when I tried to defend my sister.
Dad has always held things together while Mum did the bare minimum and when dad nearly died I honestly wished it was her instead which sounds wicked I know. I want to see Dad but have to deal with Mum trying to steal the limelight and get sympathy for herself, it's so hard sometimes but dad has always circled around her and let her get away with it while us kids were on the outside looking in. If it wasn't for dad I honestly don't think I'd ever see her again, there has been so much hurt and abuse all the time we were growing up. I'm 62 and still trying to come to terms with it.

Beth McHugh
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Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:47 am

Re: Nasty narcissistic mother

Post by Beth McHugh » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:07 pm

Hi Lirv,

Firstly, it doesn't sound wicked at all to wish your parents were in different positions. You and your brother and sister have been brought up by what sounds like a very selfish lady, if not a full blown narcissist. It's harder for the children in these situations as you knew no other type of mothering, but you know now.

It will be difficult to be with your mother as she will try to take all the attention. Try to spend as much time as you can with your father, and try hard not to get caught up in any of her conversations about herself. You need a crash course in boundary setting! As you are there for a relatively short time, it's important to be with your Dad. Your mother will not change and will try to tell you that you are not doing enough, or doing it the right way. You know all this. It would be good to have one or two statements that you could practice repeating on the plane over like "Mum, I'm here to see Dad, so I have to get to the hospital now". Or "I'm sorry you think I don't do enough, but I'm I have many demands on my time".
It really doesn't matter what you say, she won't be happy, but you need ways to deal with her to that you can spend that all important time with your father. And possibly your siblings too.
If you need help in dealing with your mother directly, or dealing with any remaining negative beliefs you may still carry about yourself, don't hesitate to contact me through the main website.
Best of luck with the visit! I hope it all goes well with it and you have a lovely reunion with your father and siblings.

Beth
ImageBeth McHugh
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor

lirv
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Re: Nasty narcissistic mother

Post by lirv » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:18 pm

Thanks so much for your good advice, it helps just knowing that you acknowledge that my mum is a narcissist as I still tend to go along with her and have niggling thoughts that it might be me being selfish and wrong. I'll definitely practice putting up stronger boundaries and try not to feel so weak in her presence. I'm still afraid of upsetting her even at my age, what is this strange power she has over everyone?!

Beth McHugh
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:47 am

Re: Nasty narcissistic mother

Post by Beth McHugh » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:11 pm

Hi Lirv,
It's because she has brainwashed you since birth.
When you are with her, it's easy to fall into childhood patterns of reacting, even though you could be CEO of IBM in your daily life. Also, unless someone in the family has had therapy and has "worked it out", simply being with your birth family helps the old dynamics to resurface. I have had clients in their 60s who were once too scared to visit their narcissistic parent without their spouse present. Once they understood that the "power" their parent had over them wasn't real, they no longer needed to be chaperoned. It takes time, and it takes work, since you are trying to unlearn the habits of a lifetime.

But it most certainly can be achieved, and many adult children of narcissists even end up feeling pity for their parent because they have lost their children to this condition. That is the end game, of course, but the best way to start is to establish that narcissism is indeed present, and then, if so, learn about the disorder and how your own buttons are triggered. There will be many false beliefs you hold about yourself that were planted by your parent, and these need to be rooted out. Once that happens, it becomes a lot easier to set boundaries and keep them. Because once boundaries are set, the tantrums or silent treatment start. You have to learn to hold your ground. It sounds hard, and it is, but it gets easier over time. Best of all, you learn to love yourself and feel strong -- something that most adult children of narcissists have never previously experienced.

Best wishes,

Beth
ImageBeth McHugh
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor

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